FOG Red U18-Boys Volleyball team
by Ashley Janes
Sturgeon County – Two Sturgeon Composite High School (SCHS) students can strike a shared item off their bucket lists after being successfully recruited to play post-secondary volleyball in the fall. Kagen Kieftenbeld and Seth Parrott are graduating Grade 12 at SCHS and have broken the school’s six-year dry spell for producing post-secondary volleyball players.
SCHS Coach Josh Elliot had only high praise for the two boys. “Seth was our captain and Kagan was our vice-captain. They’re both pretty elite players. Seth played for FOG Volleyball, Club Black, I think, and Kagen for Club Red. So they’re both huge leaders on the team.”
Elliot explained the students were scouted during their club season prior to the high school season. Kieftenbeld was recruited by the Lethbridge College Kodiaks and Perrott by the Augustana University Vikings.
As far as the boys are concerned, Elliot believes that being recruited has set them in the right direction to transition from high school to post-secondary athletics. “[Post-secondary schools are] a little more professional about how they do it. But these guys are both pretty mature about how they approach sports, so it won’t be too big of a change.”
Kagen Kieftenbeld pointed out that his career in volleyball took off with the FOG Volleyball Club. “I tried out for a U18 FOG team last year and I made it. I was competing against players who were in grade twelve and I was only in grade eleven, so I was considered an overage player which means I was allowed to play one more year of Club. So I tried out again for FOG and I made the U18 FOG Red team.”
Playing now for six years, Kieftenbeld is excited to have a future in athletics. “At first you play for fun. You don’t really see that far ahead until you start to develop as an athlete and you start to learn more about yourself, on and off the court. How much potential you have.”
He intends on taking General Studies with a major in Cultural Studies. He wants to stay in Lethbridge for at least three years and then attempt a transfer into a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) University to study Political Science and, of course, play volleyball.
With a bright future ahead of him, Kieftenbeld also wanted to take a moment to show gratitude for his past. “I’ve really got to give full credit to Mike Partington from my U16-U17 year. He was the one who took me on as a club athlete and developed me. Also Ken McLaughlin for being a great friend and a great mentor to me through High School and still today. And then Jordan Taylor and his coaching staff this year at FOG, I had so much fun.”
Parrott was unavailable for an interview, needing instead to prepare for his Math Diploma; however, Kieftenbeld reflected on their success. “I’ve played with Seth since Grade 7. We went to the same school, grew up at Sturgeon Comp. I think it’s pretty awesome and special that two players can graduate together, achieving their dreams to play post-secondary volleyball.”
Above left: Kagen Kieftenbeld